Saturday, 18 July 2009

strawberry streusel cake

strawberry streusel cake

You want to know what the saddest thing in the world is?

Of course you do. Everyone wants a bit of misery on a Saturday morning.

The saddest thing in the world is when you make a cake, and it's a really, really good cake (no, bear with me). And you're eating this cake, and you're thinking, 'this wasn't really the cake I had in mind', but it's nothing against the cake itself, you just sort of hoped it would be different. And you do like this cake, you really do, but you spend every mouthful thinking of the cake it could have been, and before you know it all the cake is gone, and you never really appreciated it, cause you were always thinking of something else.

Oh, yeah- I mean, sure you could apply that story to like, relationships, and life and so on. But I'm pretty much just talking about cake.

I really like cake.

So I made another one. A better one. The one I'd wanted all along.

tub of strawberries

Alright, so as delicious as Joy's strawberry streusel cake was, it wasn't the one I had in the back of my mind: you know, the one with great crumb boulders tumbled over the top, and a ribbon of strawberry filling baked through a thick, moist yellow cake. My streusel kind of got engulfed by the rising cake itself, dragged beneath the surface Atlantis-style, and my strawberries turned to chunks; and no one complained, but any excuse for another delicious attempt, you know?

Not to mention that we have so much fresh fruit in our house at the moment that I'm constantly engaged in a dramatic race-against-time to eat it before it turns to goo; as soon as I finish this post I'm going to go battle the forces of decomposition in aid of a few punnets of blueberries and some brown bananas. As soon as I bake something into safety, my mother buys armfuls more - the constant pressure! The constant lining of baking tins! I think my mum is doing this on purpose.

This really is a post full of woe, isn't it? Oh, the trouble I endure.

strawberry streusel cakestrawberry streusel cake, cutstrawberry streusel cakestrawberry streusel cake, pieces

Strawberry Streusel Cake

Happy Love Strawberry

I turned to about a hundred different sources for this, using Joy's cake as inspiration but turning away from her recipe. This is what I had in mind: heaps of streusel topping steals the show, undercut by a generous swathe of sweet strawberry filling. You may need to bake it for a little longer; I needed to cover it with foil and give it another 15 minutes, but I later realised this was because the Aga was running cool - so use your own judgement.

Preheat oven to 180°C with rack in middle. Generously butter a 9" cake tin. Line bottom with parchment paper.

For the crumbs:
40g (1/3 c.) dark brown sugar
60g (1/3 c.) caster sugar
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 tsp salt
120g (1 stick) butter, melted
250g (1 3/4 c.) plain flour

To make crumbs: in a large bowl, whisk sugars, lemon zest and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.

Strawberry filling:
about 150g (1 heaping c.) sliced strawberries
60g (1/3 c.) sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp water

Combine strawberries, sugar, water and cornflour in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened and strawberries are soft and somewhat broken down. Set aside to cool.

For the cake:
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g (1 c.) sugar
280g (2 c.) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120g (1 stick) butter
2 large eggs
120ml (1/2 c.) sour cream

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down side and bottom of bowl. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture and sour cream alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour, until just combined.

Spread most of batter in pan, then spoon strawberry filling over it. Spoon several small tsps of the remaining batter over the top of the strawberries and smooth them with as gentle of a hand as possible. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs. Sprinkle over cake.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted into cake (not into filling) comes out clean, 45-50mins (mine took a little over an hour as the Aga was running cool). Cool in pan 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely, crumb side up.

strawberry streusel cake, square


Celeste Maia said...

You really know how to tempt a poor hungry soul! My eyes popped, my mouth is watering, I could just eat your two delicious strawberry streusel cake. The last photograph was the knife turning, oh I could eat that

Carolyn Jung said...

That's a funny, yet apt, analogy about appreciating the cake in front of you. Ahhh, it's human nature, isn't it, to always want more and to not really be grateful for what we have. But then again, it pushes us to do better, to be ambitious, and to constantly challenge ourselves. Not a bad thing, when you think about it. :)

Adam said...

Alright, I know I'm the new kid on the block with your blog, but you have a real nice writing style. Down to earth, makes me think, and most importantly... fun. Nice job, you have style buddy :)

Now... onto the cake. While you may feel like cheating on this cake, I still think it looks fantastic. Strudel rules all, my friend :)

grace said...

heaps of streusel should be present on every cake. period.
i know exactly what you mean about let-downs. i'm glad you realized your dream on the second go-round--it usually takes me 6 or 7 tries. :)

Maybelles mom said...

This has happened to me many times. Goes to show you how strong you minds eye and tastebuds are.

Sweet Treats by Dani said...

I guess I know what I am doing with my next batch of strawberries :)

Poorni Pillai said...

Looks heavenly. I know what you mean- satisfying yourself is important, you just cant fool you! :)

Maria♥ said...

I have some lonely strawberries that need using and I think I may have found a home for them!

This cake looks gorgeous.


Jane said...

The delicious look of this cake, and just knowing how you labored to perfect its recipe, makes me know that I must -- MUST-- try it soon. Beautiful photography in your blog and wonderful writing. (I can hardly believe you are only 18!! Talented beyond your years, I'd say.)

:) Jane

Anonymous said...

I am getting hungry i like to eat it.I like the color.


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Anonymous said...

It looks absolutely delicious!!

Irina @ PastryPal said...

I found your blog because you commented on mine and once I started reading, I was instantly sucked in. Gorgeous photos, great stories...
This looks absolutely incredible. And thanks for posting the recipe in both grams and cup measures.

Julia @Mélanger said...

I don't eat enough streusel cakes. And I've never had a strawberry one. Shame on me! But I can certainly appreciate the drive to find the perfect recipe. Good that often there is still some yummy taste testing along the way, even if it's not what you were expecting first, or second, or third time round...... P.S. LOVE the baking tin in the top picture!

morgana said...

Damm it!!! I'll have to wait till next spring to bake this, it's so difficult to find strawberries now... Perhaps with cherries...

Oh my, your photos made me hungry.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

I do hate when that happens. You build something up in your head and then you make it and it just does measure up!

I made a similar cake which was quite good but THIS cake looks much better and it has nothing to do with that gorgeous crumb topping! :)

Liz said...

Oh, delicious! What a perfect summer dessert! Glad you could overcome your misery and hardship and see your way to baking this beautiful cake. :)

Sophiepie! said...


but it tasted lovely :)

s x

cell functions said...

I thought it was an excellent blog, that information has been very helpful in my life, I am a strawberries lover, so I really enjoyed this reading, the strawberries taste is so delicious! Thanks for this great moment!

Unknown said...

thanks for sharing your recipe! i am about to make this! I'll post it on my blog (and refer back to your blog soon)

Amani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amani said...

Mine is baking in the oven at the moment! *waits eagerly*